The Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force, in conjunction with the Police Co-operative Credit Union Limited and SVG Ex-Police Association has awarded fifty three (53) students with full scholarships and eighteen (18) bursaries during a Joint Annual Scholarship and Bursary Ceremony on Thursday August 15th, 2019 at the Police Canteen under the theme, “Forging ahead with a lift so that you can soar”

Delivering the keynote address at the event was Dr. Franké Joseph, a past recipient of the police scholarship.  Dr. Joseph reminisced on his journey and told the awardees that by looking at all the young faces in the crowd, reminds him of how quickly time flies. He said it feels as if it was just yesterday he was sitting where they all were and it pains him to say, “But to all of you I am by your definition an old man so today, it is my honour, to share my “old man” knowledge with you”.

Dr. Joseph told recipients that the world is now open to an abundance of possibilities but he was sure for most of them, it would be hard to decide which way to take because they are now expected to take a more direct approach to guiding their own life.  He nonetheless expressed the view that the uncertainty that the recipients would experience at this stage of their lives can create possibilities for growth in any direction that will interest them. According to the keynote speaker, now is the time for them to explore all of these possibilities. Dr. Joseph also took the opportunity to remind the students that on their educational journey they will encounter issues that may seek to limit the enormous possibilities in life. One such issue he said is the financial burden of getting a good education. But he assured them that the Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force is cognizant of that and is seeking to alleviate it by awarding scholarships and bursaries to worthy recipients.

He went on to say that before now, school was something they ‘merely’ attended; but today, acquiring knowledge should be the goal of why they go.  He also told recipients that many expectations may be placed on their shoulders in the coming years and while experiencing this, life will be filled with doubts and uncertainties, but these doubts and uncertainties need not only be a negative but can be seen as an opportunity. 

Dr. Joseph also addressed the parents and reminded them that they too have an important role to play that will be critical to their child’s success by spending time with them and helping them with their homework. This he said will not only deepen their relationship but it will also give the children an opportunity to impress them.

Also making brief remarks at the ceremony was Deputy Commissioner of Police, Mr. Frankie Joseph who congratulated all of the students who have passed the Caribbean Primary Exit Assessment (CPEA) examinations and all of the awardees who received scholarships and bursaries. He reminded the audience that while the primary mission of the Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force and its auxiliary forces is “To ensure national security by preventing and detecting crime, preserving the public peace and protecting the life and property of the citizens of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and its visitors through effective law enforcement”, the organization has an equally important responsibility to ensure that the youths of our nation are given the opportunity to reach their optimum potential in life. According to the Deputy Commissioner of Police, one of the tangible ways in which the Police Force is achieving executing this responsibility is by providing scholarships and other financial assistance to children of police officers and others geared towards a brighter future educationally and holistically.

The Deputy Commissioner also gave a brief history of when the Scholarship Fund began and an insight as to how it is operated. He informed that the Police Scholarship programme began sixty one (61) years ago under the then Chief of Police, Colonel Sydney Anderson.

He concluded with a quotation from the great Chinese Thinker and Philosopher known as CONFUCIUS; who stated, “The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential; these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence”. He advised the recipients to be guided by those words and told them once they work hard and have the will-power to succeed, they will surely realize their full potential in this beautiful and dynamic world.

Station Sergeant Brenton Smith, Vice President of the Police Co-operative Credit Union also made brief remarks on behalf of the Credit Union.  He told the gathering that the SVGPCCU is deeply committed to the achievement in education of the nation’s youths and that he is pleased to be associated with the police scholarship fund and the Ex-Police Association in the distribution of scholarships and bursaries. 

S/Sgt Smith told the recipients that one of the ways in which they can take full advantage of the scholarships and bursaries awarded to them is by excelling in their academics in the upcoming school year and years to come.  S/Sgt. Smith quoted Benjamin Franklyn saying, “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” 

Brief remarks and words of encouragement were also given by Mr. Dixon Findlay, Deputy Chief Education Officer (Ag) who spoke on behalf of the Ministry of Education and Mr. Michael Charles, on behalf of the Ex-Police Association of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.